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Annan heads to Africa for two-week official visit

Annan heads to Africa for two-week official visit

Secretary-General Kofi Annan heads to Africa this weekend for a two-week official visit that will take him to South Africa, Madagascar, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the United Nations has deployed a multifaceted peacekeeping operation, a spokesman for the world body announced today.

In South Africa, Mr. Annan is scheduled to meet with President Thabo Mbeki and address a joint session of the country’s Parliament in Cape Town and to visit Johannesburg, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

The Secretary-General will travel next to Madagascar, where he plans to hold meetings with President Marc Ravalomanana and other officials and receive an honorary doctorate from the National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences, the spokesman said.

In the Congolese capital of Brazzaville, Mr. Annan is expected to meet with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who is also the current head of the African Union (AU).

Wrapping up his Africa trip with a stop in DRC, Mr. Annan will meet President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa and address the Congolese people. He is also expected to travel outside the capital to Kisangani, according to the spokesman.

The UN Operation in the DRC (MONUC) has over 16,800 uniformed personnel deployed across the vast country, where it is helping to foster stability, support a peace agreement and organize elections.

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